Nothing shows Eastman Chemical's focus and solid ground game better than its participation in benchmarking, a tool for developing best practices and continuous improvement. "It shows you how you are doing compared to other well-run companies," CFO Curt Espeland says. "It lets you go to management and develop a road map for improvements. And it helps us prioritize."
The Atlanta-based Hackett Group applies benchmark formulas to dozens of indicators of efficiency and effectiveness and designates the top performers --less than 10% of its universe--as world class. Eastman falls in that elite group for its finance performance, says Bryan Hall, a principal in Hackett's finance transformation practice.